2014, international year of family farming: Is it all put on or a true opportunity?

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_sustainableagriculture_2013-23-12exploitation-laitiere.jpg(Brussels, December 2013) On last November 22nd the international year of family farming (YFF) was launched and EU Commissioner for agriculture Dacian Ciolos organized an international conference on November 29th in Brussels. At the same time, Commissioner for external trade Karel de Gucht was packing up for the WTO ministerial conference in Bali. Family farming was not on the agenda over there, but exports, imports, market access,….. To bring then family farming to light during one year, is that all put on or a true opportunity ?

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La Via Campesina Agroecology Trainers in Cuba

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_sustainableagriculture_20131220_Cuba_6.jpg(Havana, December 20, 2013) “Agroecology can double food production in entire regions within ten years, while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty.”

This is the conclusion of Olivier de Schutter, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, in the presentation of his report in March 2011. This statement is based on his research around the world. In the report, he forcefully called upon states to adopt ambitious public policies for supporting agroecology.

For a long time now, agroecology has been promoted within La Via Campesina (LVC) as a paradigm for achieving food sovereignty. Demonstrating this commitment are the more than 40 peasant agroecology schools in existence or being built within the movement. If we are convinced that agroecology is the path, these centers respond to a question that always strikes us as urgent: “how can we spread agroecology?” In this context, the success of the Farmer-to-Farmer method used by the National Small Farmers Assocation (Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños—ANAP), the LVC member organization in Cuba, is an inspiring example for the movement. ANAP and LVC organized the biannual international encounter of the Farmer to Farmer Agroecological Movement from the 17th to the 24th of November 2013, which was an opportunity for La Via Campesina to learn more about Cuba’s successful experience.

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A year for agricultural policy to radically support small-scale family and peasant farming

European Coordination Via Campesina Press Release on 2014 International Year of Family Farming

( 21 November 2013 -Brussels) This Friday 22nd November, the United Nations will be launching the International Year of Family Farming for 2014. Since 1993, the Via Campesina has been the only international organisation to daily defend small-scale family and peasant agriculture throughout the world; it does so with 160 organisations in 79 countries and over 200 million peasant farmer members, both men and women. In Europe, the European Coordiantion Via Campesina, - members of the LVC – are present in 18 European countreis, and federates peasants’ organisations and agricultural workers under the banner of food sovereignty and peasant agriculture, the very essence of family agriculture.

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African Farmers meet in Zimbabwe to give more strength to the struggle for seeds sovereignty

Media Advisory - La Via Campesina

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Harare, 06 November 2013 – More than 40 farmers from several African countries, members of La Via Campesina, together with allies, will meet in Zimbabwe on 12-14 November 2013, to discuss the threats posed to smallholder farmers’ seed systems on the continent. In particular, it will discuss the changes to African seed laws, and responses to such threats. The seminar will be hosted by the Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF),an organisation member of La Via Campesina.

This conference will take place just a few weeks after the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) formalized an agreement for cooperation with La Via Campesina, acknowledging the essential role played by smallholder food producers in the world, including African small-scale farmers.

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